Foxcatcher (Blu-ray) (2014)
Featurette-The Story of Foxcatcher (16:20)
Deleted Scenes-x 2 (5:15)
Trailer-Big Eyes (2:26)
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Bennett Miller|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Based on a true story, Foxcatcher establishes the story with economy. Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) won a wrestling gold medal at the 1984 LA Olympic Games. But there is little money in wrestling and three years later Mark lives in the shadow of his older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), himself a Olympic gold medal winner, training for the 1987 World Titles in France and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and reduced to giving, for a small amount of money, speeches to bored schoolchildren. Then, almost miraculously, he receives an invitation to meet multimillionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell) at his Foxcatcher Farm in Pennsylvania.
Du Pont has always loved wrestling (over the distain and objections of his mother Jean (Vanessa Redgrave)) and he desperately wants to train and coach at Foxcatcher a team of wrestlers capable of winning for America gold medals at the World Championships and the Seoul Olympics. He wants Mark and Dave to move to the farm and lead the wrestlers. Dave declines; his wife Nancy (Sienna Miller) and two children are settled but Mark is seduced by the wealth and by du Pont. Mark wins the World Championships, but when you sell your soul there are always consequences. Mark becomes dependant on du Pont, and lapses into cocaine and alcohol which affects his control of the team and his form until du Pont finally persuades Dave to come to Foxcatcher. But tragedy is waiting and sometimes the price is paid by those you love.
Foxcatcher is directed by Bennett Miller who has only directed three feature films, two of which, Foxcatcher and Capote (2005), have received for him best director Oscar nominations. It is an impressive record and although he won for neither Miller shows that he has a talent for letting the story speak for itself, shunning theatrics or flashy camera work and giving the actors room to inhabit their characters. Foxcatcher was nominated for five Oscars, including best actor for Steve Carell, and although he lost out to Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything his is a superb performance. Carell is better known as a comic actor in films such as The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) or Get Smart (2008) but under impressive makeup (makeup and hair styling was another Oscar category Foxcatcher was nominated in) his John du Pont is a repellent, still, intense and, behind the stillness, a frightening man driven by his need to gain his mother’s approval. Steve Carell, delivers no histrionics, just a subtle and scary performance. Mark Ruffalo (nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar) is also good, but for most of its running time Foxcatcher is really a two hander, depicting the developing relationship, and mutual interdependence, between du Pont and Mark Schultz, and here Channing Tatum not only looks the part but gives Mark, initially a hulking, resentful and none too bright man, an impressive depth and presence.
Foxcatcher is as much about wrestling as Lawrence of Arabia is about the desert. Instead it is a drama and a character study about obsession, choices, family, the price of selling your soul and the impact of unlimited wealth, a Greek tragedy in which the characters may, or may not, have a chance to escape their fates. With superb performances and restrained camerawork, Foxcatcher is as mesmerising as it is tragic.
Foxcatcher is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
This print has not the strongest detail, and some interiors are quite soft although close-ups are fine. Colours vary, especially as the film is set during a number of seasons. Some colours are muted, the reds and browns of the autumn leaves are beautiful, the green lawns of Foxcatcher are vibrant, while the colours of the rooms within the du Pont mansion are deep and rich. Blacks are solid, shadow detail very good, skin tones natural, contrast and brightness consistent.
There is some pleasing light grain evident and slight movement blur against trees. Otherwise I did not notice any marks or artefacts.
English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available.
The feature audio is English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and an English audio description track (Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps) is available.
Dialogue was generally easy to understand. This is not an action film but the audio is impressive and subtle as the film uses silences to good effect on a number of occasions, while the occasional loud sounds, such as the gunshots, resonate. The surrounds are not used a lot, but nor are they needed; mostly it is for music, crowd noise during the wrestling and an occasional helicopter engine. The score by Rob Simonsen is also quite subtle, using a delicate solo piano frequently to underscore the visuals. The subwoofer was used sparingly.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
|Surround Channel Use|
A trailer for Big Eyes (2:26) plays on start-up. It cannot be selected from the menu.
On-set and film footage plus interviews with the director Bennett Miller, cast members Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Sienna Miller, the producer, makeup head, sound designer, production designer and the wife of Dave Schultz. Topics include casting, the story, the sound and production design, meeting Mark Schultz and being true to the characters. Reasonably interesting and worth watching once.
Two deleted scenes with audio but no music.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The US Region A release of Foxcatcher adds a French dub, French and Spanish subtitles and a theatrical trailer to the extras we have on our Region B Blu-ray. Call it a draw.
Foxcatcher is powerful drama about unlimited wealth, power and obsession driven by a compelling performance by Steve Carell, a subtle score and unflashy camerawork that allows the plot to unfold with the inevitability of a Greek tragedy.
The video are audio are good, the extras are not extensive but are worth watching.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|